Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Skin Deep -- Hey Mom, The Rabbi Approved My Tatoo"

"Skin Deep -- Hey Mom, The Rabbi Approved My Tatoo"
For Some Jews, It Only Sounds Like "Taboo"

by Kate Torgovnick

ROBERTA KAPLAN, 71, has never been a fan of tattoos. “I’m a very Jewish person,” she said. “I was told from way, way back that you’re not supposed to desecrate your body.”

Ms. Kaplan ordered her five children to renounce tattoos. (What would neighbors at synagogue think?) Her children, in turn, did the same (every third teenager may have an ankle tattoo souvenir from spring break, but that doesn’t make it right by the Torah).

This article makes me sick; it says that because really if a Jew has a tatoo, they can be buried in a Jewish cemetery (apparently in the Old Country they said you can't be), so the whole law is false.

Is that even true? Can one not be buried in a Jewish cemetery with a tatoo? Please tell me, but I want a source, not just a "yes" or "no."

The problem I have with this article is that people who don't know any better will quote this article as authoritative, and, it's just wrong.

“They’re taking this prohibited act and using it to feel more Jewish.”

And if it makes you feel more Jewish it makes something prohibited, permitted...? Is that true...?

Let me fill you, no it doesn't work like that Kate, I'm sorry, but it doesn't. You can't just make something OK because you feel more connected, or anything like that. Just because Ploni Almoni feels more connected to Judaism when he's screwing his mother or sister, or yes, even his father or brother, doesn't make it OK. Kate, why do you have to mislead everybody?

"Take Marshal Klaven, 29. While studying in Israel as a teenager, he decided to become a rabbi. For the first time, “it became not just the Jewish people, but my Jewish people,” he said. This sense of belonging inspired him to get the first of his three tattoos, a Star of David and a dove."

Quotes like this make me sick:

"For Mr. Klaven, historical context is key. When Leviticus was written, tattooing was largely a pagan practice, done to mark slaves or to show devotion to a pharaoh, Mr. Klaven said. Since tattooing has evolved, he thinks the rule may be outdated."

“We were hesitant because we knew it was against the religion, but Judaism has got to evolve with the times.”

The whole point is that the Torah is forever and it doesn't need to be changed.

Todd Weinberger, the creative director of Inked Magazine, grew up in a family that kept kosher, and recently got his first tattoo with his girlfriend, Jennifer Goldstein, an editor at CosmoGirl magazine. Their matching Hebrew ones read, “Forever and ever.” “We’re not into marriage, so we wanted to get commitment tattoos,” said Mr. Weinberger, 37, who lives in Brooklyn. “We were hesitant because we knew it was against the religion, but Judaism has got to evolve with the times.”

Last weekend, Mr. Weinberger’s family saw their adornments for the first time. “It went over a lot better than I thought,” he said. “They were more upset that it was a commitment to us not getting married.”

A commitment tatoo, that because they're against marriage...*sigh*


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